Visible Satellite on Friday

Friday wasn't very green. In fact, it was pretty gray! A storm system rolled across the northern part of the state with scattered rain/snow showers across the far north. Wrap around clouds settled in across the southern half of the state as winds picked up during the late afternoon hours. The good news is that the clouds and gusty winds will move out as we head into the early part of the weekend.

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Minnesota Snow Depth Ranking
 
Here's the latest snow depth ranking from the MN DNR, which was released on Thursday, March 16th. Note that much of central Minnesota is snow free, while parts of northern and southern Minnesota still have some snow on the ground.
 

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National Snow Depth 2017 vs 2012
 
According to NOAA's NOHRSC, the national coverage as of March 17th was nearly 23%. Note the widespread snow across the Northeast from the recent heavy snowfall event there and also note the heavy mountain snow across in the West! Comparing the snow coverage from 2017 to 2012, you can see that only 9% of the nation was covered 5 years ago at this time. If you recall, March 2012 was an extremely warm month across the Central part of the country. It hit 80F in the Twin Cities on St. Patty's Day that year!

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NOAA 2017 Spring Flood Outlook

On Thursday, March 16th, NOAA released their 2017 Spring Flood Risk and it showed major flood concerns across parts of North Dakota. Here's an excerpt from NOAA: "Northern North Dakota – the Souris River, Devils Lake and the northernmost reaches of the Red River – has the greatest risk of major flooding this spring, while moderate flooding is possible over southern Idaho in the Snake River basin, according to NOAA’s Spring Outlook released today. California, which saw extensive flooding in February, is susceptible to additional flooding from possible storms through the remainder of the wet season and later, from snowmelt."

See more from NOAA HERE:


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Flood Concerns Continue in the Northwest

A number of flood concerns have been posted across the Northwest do to the combination of snow melt and rainfall. A number of rivers, streams and creeks will be elevated over the next several days due to the weather conditions there.

River Flooding Concerns

According to NOAA's NWS, there are currently 20 river guages that are currently in flood stage and the extended forecast suggesting that 26 river guages will be in flood stage through the end of next week.

NOAA: Current River Gauges in Flood Stage
NOAA: Forecast For River Gauges that will be in Flood Stage Through Friday, March 24th
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California Drought Comparison 2017 vs 2016

Take a look at the drought comparison from March 15th, 2016 vs March 14th, 2017. Note how much improvement we've seen across much of the state since last year! According to the US Drought Monitor, EXTREME and EXCEPTIONAL drought conditions do not exist anymore and there is only a little sliver of SEVERE drought across the extreme southeastern part of the state! Most of these improvements have occurred since the beginning of 2017!
 
More Rain in California Next Week
 
Here's the weather outlook from Sunday to Thursday, which shows another round of precipitation working into the Western US with some fairly decent precipitation tallies. Note that rain will be found in the lower elevations, while areas of heavier snow may be found in the higher elevations. 
 
 
Western Precipitation Potential
 
Here's a look at the precipitation potential through late next week, which shows another round of heavy precipitation moving through the Western US. Some spots could see as much as 3" to 6"+ of liquid.
 

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More NE Snow This Weekend

Here's the simulated radar from Saturday to Sunday, which shows a another storm system moving into the region. While this storm is nothing like the storm earlier this week, it will still have the capability of bringing some additional snowfall accumulations to parts of the region. 
 
 
More Snow in the Northeast?
 
As our next storm system moves into the Northeast, additional snowfall will be possible. While snowfall amounts don't look nearly as heavy as they did earlier this week, some spots could see some shovelable amounts.
 
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Record Weekend Warmth
 
Here's a look at the potential record highs that could be set on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Note that record highs on Saturday could be found as far north as Montana and then on Sunday, record warmth will be fairly widespread across the Plains on Sunday.
 

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Mild Weekend on Tap. Rain/Snow Mix By Friday?
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas.

Welcome to your last official weekend of winter 2017. The sun's most direct rays will shine directly over the equator on Monday, marking the start of spring in the northern hemisphere. This winter was kind of a dud, no question. Get this, the Twin Cities has only seen 31.5 inches of snow this season, which is nearly 17 inches below normal. Earlier this week, Binghamton, NY picked up 31.3 inches of snow in a 24 hour period, making it the snowiest 24 hours on record for that city! It has taken nearly 7 months for the Twin Cities to achieve what Binghamton picked up in just 1 days time. Good grief.

No accumulating snow in the forecast this weekend. Saturday will feature sunny skies with highs in the 40s. A breezy south wind develops Sunday, which will help push temperatures up close to 60 degrees for a few locations in southern Minnesota. Clouds will then thicken late with a few light rain showers by the evening.

The week ahead starts quiet, but a storm looms late week with a chance of rain & snow. Twins' Home Opener is in 2.5 weeks!
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Extended Forecast:

SATURDAY: Cloudy start, gradually becoming sunny. Near average temps and not as breezy. Winds: NW 5-15. High: 43

SATURDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy and quiet. Winds: SE 5. Low: 31.

SUNDAY: Mild and breezy. Few showers late. Winds: SSW 10-15. High: 58

MONDAY: Sun returns. Still mild. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 35. High: 50

TUESDAY: Mostly sunny. Feeling cooler. Winds: NNE 5-10. Wake-up: 26. High: 40.

WEDNESDAY: Clouds thicken. Light mix overnight? Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 20. High: 43.

THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy. Steady rain develops. Winds: SSE 10-20. Wake-up: 30. High: 45.

FRIDAY: Breezy. Rain/snow mix. Winds: NNW 10-20. Wake-up: 30. High: 46.
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This Day in Weather History
March 18th

1968: (Previous to this year's tornadoes on March 6th) the earliest tornado hit Minnesota. No one was hurt when it hit Watonwan County.
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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
March 18th

Average High: 42F (Record: 79F set in 2012)
Average: Low: 25F (Record: -8F set in 1923)

*Record Snowfall: 9.6" set in 1951
 
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Sunrise Sunset Times For Minneapolis
March 18th

Sunrise: 7:19am
Sunset: 7:23pm

*Daylight Gained Since Yesterday: ~3 minutes & 9 seconds
*Daylight Gained Since Winter Solstice (December 21st): ~3 hours & 17 minutes

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Moon Phase for March 18th at Midnight
1.4 Days Before Last Quarter

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Weather Outlook For Saturday

High temperatures on Saturday will be a little cooler than we were on Friday, but still fairly mild for mid March. Readings across the state will range form the 40s across the southern half of the state to the 30s across the northern part of the state. Feels like temperatures around midday will be a little cooler, but the wind won't be quite as gusty as it was Friday afternoon.

Weather Outlook For Saturday

Here's a look at winds around the region on Saturday. Note that winds won't be nearly as strong as they were PM Friday. In fact, winds will continue to fade throughout the day.

 
 Weather Outlook For Saturday

After a mostly cloudy Friday, the sun returns for much of the day Saturday. Low clouds and areas of light precipitation will move into the Great Lakes Regions, while a few high clouds will drift into the region late in the day. 

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Late Week Storm System
 
Weather conditions through the weekend and early next week look fairly quiet for us, but a storm system is looming for late next week. Here's a quick glimpse of what weather conditions could be like Thursday through Friday of next week.
 
 
Extended Temperature Outlook for Minneapolis

Here's the temperature outlook through March 27th, which shows warmer temperatures with us now over the next few days. There may be a bit of a cool down by the middle part of next week, but overall, temperatures look milder than we have been.


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8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook suggests warmer than average temperatures moving in across parts of the Upper Midwest/Great Lakes from March 26th - 30th.


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Temperature Outlook

Here's the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook, which takes us into the end of March. Note that warmer than average temperatures look to move into much of the Central US, while cooler than average temperatures will still be found in the Northeast and across parts of California.

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 National Weather Outlook

Here's the national weather outlook through the weekend, which shows another surge of wintry moisture moving through the Northeast with some snow accumulations possible. Note that another surge of moisture through the Pacific Northwest, while the Southwest looks to remain rather quiet.

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5 Day Precipitation Forecast

According to NOAA's WPC, the 5 day precipitation forecast suggests widespread 3" to 6"+ precipitation amounts across parts of the Western US with some of the heaviest tallies in the higher elevations. 


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Snowfall Potential

Here's the snowfall potential over the next several days, which shows some accumulations across the Northeast and across the Western U.S., but there doesn't appear to be any major snow event unfolding across the Lower 48.

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"What happens when 2 photographers get engaged under the northern lights? This!"
 
"What's the secret to an engagement photo that makes women swoon and men curse the fact that they'll never be able be able to top it? Dale Sharpe, 34, and Karlie Russell, 29, make it look easy — but it took a lot more than meets the eye to get this stunning shot."
 
 

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"Mount Etna: BBC crew caught up in volcano blast"

"A BBC team and a number of tourists have suffered minor injuries after being caught up in an incident on the erupting volcano Mount Etna in Sicily. "Many injured - some head injuries, burns, cuts and bruises," tweeted BBC science reporter Rebecca Morelle. Lava flow mixed with steam had caused a huge explosion, which pelted the group with boiling rocks and steam, she said. About eight people had been injured, with some evacuated from the mountain by rescue teams, she added."

See the video from BBC HERE:


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"Climate shaped the human nose, researchers say"
 
"Variations in nose shape developed as a result of natural selection in response to different climates, new study suggests. Researchers say their findings back up the theory that wider nostrils developed in populations living in warm, humid conditions, while populations living in high latitudes, such as northern Europe, developed narrower nostrils as an adaptation to the chilly, dry conditions. “People have thought for a long time the difference in nose shape among humans across the world may have arisen as a result of natural selection because of climate,” said Arslan Zaidi, co-author of the study from Pennsylvania State University. But while previous studies were based on measurements from human skulls, he says, the new study looked at nose shape itself."
 
 
(The study indicates that nostril width is linked to temperature and absolute humidity. Photograph: Jay L. Clendenin/Getty Images)

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"How Climate Change Threatens Your Breakfast"

"Maple syrup season came early this year, with warm days prompting sap to run as early as January in some parts of the country. As the climate warms, this scenario is predicted to play out more often. Indeed, in New York and New England, the sap run season starts about eight days earlier than it did 50 years ago. The unpredictable weather typical of early spring can also cut sugaring season short. And as it turns out, other side effects of climate change, such as more pests or drought, could stress sugar maples too much—and when that happens, they produce defensive chemicals in bitter, unpalatable quantities."

See more from ScienceFriday.com HERE:

(Image credit: ScienceFriday via Shutterstock)


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"The More Climate Skeptics There Are, the Fewer Climate Entrepreneurs"
 
"According to an October 2016 Pew poll, only about half of Americans believe that climate change is due to human activity. The U.S. remains home to a considerable number of “climate skeptics,” who clearly impact the politics around the issue, as they are unlikely to support costly actions such as carbon taxes intended to mitigate the challenge of climate change. Higher carbon taxes would have a direct effect on encouraging households and firms to consume less fossil fuels and would accelerate directed research in green technologies such as electric vehicles, solar panels, and other forms of renewable power. But how does the presence of climate skeptics affect the market for climate-related innovation? Economic theory suggests it can have a significant negative impact. In other words, climate skeptics don’t just stymie progress on climate policy. They ensure that would-be climate entrepreneurs have less incentive to invent."
 
 
(Image Credit: HBR.org)

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"Climate change is making us sick, top U.S. doctors say"
 
"From increases in deadly diseases to choking air pollution and onslaughts of violent weather, man-made climate change is making Americans sicker, according to a report released Wednesday by 11 of
the nation's top medical societies. 
The report was prepared by the" Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, a new group that represents more than 400,000 doctors, who make up more than half of all U.S. physicians."
 
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"Don’t look now, but reality is winning the climate debate"
 
Many of the estimates of the long-term effects of climate change focus on outcomes that will be obvious by the year 2100. Climate change isn’t weather change, and the slow warming of the Earth is best measured by changes over decades, not days. That’s been inconvenient for those hoping to draw attention to the issue in an age when attention spans are fleeting and debates are often resolved when one side points to some anecdote as definitive — for example, when a member of the Senate thinks a February snowball somehow rebuts the idea there’s a long-term warming trend. There are visible effects: rising sea levels, increased precipitation bursts and, of course, the three-year streak of hottest years ever. But one can’t simply point to one thing that happens and say, “That. That’s climate change.” For those disinterested in accepting the scientific consensus on the subject, that’s helpful. A concerted political effort about a decade ago leveraged the public’s uncertainty and our rhetorical habits to effectively blunt policies that would have addressed the issue. That built climate change into a central partisan litmus test. But now, as President Trump figures out how to roll back his predecessor’s efforts on climate policy, something interesting has happened: Gallup polling suggests that Americans have broadly accepted the science — and risks — of global warming.
 
 
(Steam and exhaust rise from the power plant of STEAG on Jan. 6, in Oberhausen, Germany. (Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

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